Author Topic: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool  (Read 10929 times)

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Offline Didyma

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This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« on: June 07, 2014, 11:39:22 AM »
http://galleryzograf.deviantart.com 

So, I think this lady's style is the best I've ever seen.  By her description, her work seems legitimate.  Man, I want one of these.  What do you guys think?
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Offline hecma925

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 12:07:11 PM »
I don't care for them.  I don't care for the darker paints she uses.
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 01:14:54 PM »
Well, a lot of it is gold leaf, so it could just be the lighting.  However, I enjoy the darker paint a lot, as well as the "rougher" style and painting surfaces.
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 08:13:33 AM »
http://galleryzograf.deviantart.com  

So, I think this lady's style is the best I've ever seen.  By her description, her work seems legitimate.  Man, I want one of these.  What do you guys think?

Her painterly skill needs a lot of improvement. A lot of it is crude, rough and almost cartoonish, like these:





If an iconographer is to go for "simple" or "naive", he or she needs to be a draftsman and painter of great skill.

Of even greater concern is the large number of images which simply don't pass muster as proper Orthodox icons, such as the various Holy Family paintings, imagery from RC art such as Christ with the sacred heart, and this one of "Mary and Jesus" (it's not the only one, BTW):



Where is the halo on the Christ-child? Where is the inscription IC-XC? Why is the child shown as an ordinary baby, and not as the all-knowing Son of God? I'm afraid this is nothing more than a sentimental religious painting, not an Orthodox icon worthy of veneration.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 08:19:25 AM by LBK »
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Offline Orest

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 09:03:01 AM »
Very poor work.  She needs some training under an icon master to teach her real iconography & also the theology of iconography.
Too much of her own artistic interpretation.
Also she writes: "Most of my icons are copies of originals created 14-18 century.."  and yet she has a pictures of "Joseph & baby Jesus (sic)"  & "The Holy Family" which are Roman Catholic artistic themes NOT found in any iconographer's manual. 
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 09:07:11 AM by Orest »

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 09:04:48 AM »
The poor Theotokos! She looks so old. It's like Sarah. ;)
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Offline Orest

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 09:10:43 AM »
The poor Theotokos! She looks so old. It's like Sarah. ;)
Yes, I can see why the site is hosted by "deviant art".

Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 09:13:17 AM »
Yes, I can see why the site is hosted by "deviant art".

The shame is that the artist is clearly calling her work "icons". She's not doing Orthodoxy any favors by doing so.  :( :P
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 10:12:55 AM »
Yeah, I did notice that she did a painting of God the Father, which I thought was sketchy.  Also, putting icons on bowls and stuff, presumably to be eaten from.  However, I disagree about her painterly skills needing work.  Yeah, a few of the faces aren't the best, but I think she pulls off the look while still maintaining beauty.
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 10:14:52 AM »
Those eyes are right out of a nightmare.  :o
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 10:17:09 AM »
Bah, humbug.  I've seen way worse eyes than that. 
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 10:27:51 AM »
Yeah, I did notice that she did a painting of God the Father, which I thought was sketchy.  Also, putting icons on bowls and stuff, presumably to be eaten from.  However, I disagree about her painterly skills needing work.  Yeah, a few of the faces aren't the best, but I think she pulls off the look while still maintaining beauty.

Not only is her sense of proportion and painterly skill greatly lacking, but these paintings largely lack any spiritual quality. One of her great failings is the look in the eyes of whom she paints. It is simply wrong. Both in conventional portraiture (painting and drawing), and caricature, as well as iconography, getting the eyes right is of supreme importance. If the eyes aren't right, the whole painting fails, no matter how well the rest of it is executed.

I have many icons in my archive painted in simple, rustic styles, sometimes using no more than three or four basic colors, yet their spiritual power is equal to the works of master iconographers. This woman's work doesn't even come close. The oversized eyes, the deer-in-the-headlights look, the overall garishness and sloppiness of much of her work, all have the look and feel of a hobby painter, and not a very good one at that.
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 10:34:08 AM »
Bah, humbug.  I've seen way worse eyes than that. 

Bah, humbug?
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 10:35:16 AM »
Bah, humbug.  I've seen way worse eyes than that. 

Bah, humbug?
Why not?
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 10:36:20 AM »
Bah, humbug.  I've seen way worse eyes than that.  

Bah, humbug?
Why not?

Well you're suggesting I'm just being a Scrooge. I'm not. They really are that bad.

My dear St. Catherine looks like Tyrion Lannister:

http://galleryzograf.deviantart.com/art/Saint-Ekaterina-426451533
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 10:36:49 AM by kelly »
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2014, 10:38:12 AM »
I guess the eyes could use some life.  And the Unmercenary's hands are a bit too big.
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2014, 10:40:42 AM »
Bah, humbug.  I've seen way worse eyes than that.  

Bah, humbug?
Why not?

Well you're suggesting I'm just being a Scrooge. I'm not. They really are that bad.

My dear St. Catherine looks like Tyrion Lannister:

http://galleryzograf.deviantart.com/art/Saint-Ekaterina-426451533

*snorts*  Well, I dunno about that, but the comparison is hilarious.  You know, there's probably a schlock icon of him.
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2014, 10:44:14 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:



Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2014, 10:45:55 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:



Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Sausage finger Jesus. Oy.
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2014, 10:49:41 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:

Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Sausage finger Jesus. Oy.


 :o :laugh:

What would you call his left hand which is holding his shepherd's crook?
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2014, 10:52:50 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:

Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Sausage finger Jesus. Oy.


 :o :laugh:

What would you call his left hand which is holding his shepherd's crook?

Ham-fisted? :P
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2014, 10:54:26 AM »
Sometimes--sometimes--I wonder if it was a mistake to move away so dramatically from this:

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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2014, 11:04:18 AM »
Seriously, one of the most important steps in the training of any painter is mastering drawing. Many, many hours are spent in developing and refining skills in drawing, to refine one's sense of proportion, and to be able to properly and accurately render on paper the structural essence of the finished painting. Drawing, drawing and more drawing is the order of the day for budding iconographers, with them spending weeks or months doing so. Putting paint to board is out of the question unless their draftsmanship is deemed to be acceptable. Then comes the even more complex process of learning and refining one's painterly technique.

I suspect that the artist in question has subjected herself to little or no training of this kind, or she simply cannot see the shortcomings and distortions of her work.
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2014, 11:09:13 AM »
Sometimes--sometimes--I wonder if it was a mistake to move away so dramatically from this:



Yet even something as simple as a cross can be subjected to the ghastliness of the wrong sort of artistic expression:





Ya can't win.  :P
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2014, 11:19:54 AM »
It looks like that "S" thing that we did in elementary and middle school.
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2014, 11:21:03 AM »
It looks like that "S" thing that we did in elementary and middle school.

LOL! I remember those.  :D
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2014, 11:21:10 AM »


That looks like a toy dagger.  
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2014, 11:29:14 AM »


That looks like a toy dagger.  

According to the blurb, it's a blessing cross ....  :P
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Offline Theophania

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2014, 11:32:20 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:

Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Sausage finger Jesus. Oy.


 :o :laugh:

What would you call his left hand which is holding his shepherd's crook?

Kind of looks like an onion.
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2014, 11:35:06 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:



Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Wow.  I hadn't seen that one.  That's pretty bad.
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2014, 11:41:18 AM »
Here's one that's just as bad. It's bad enough that St Mary Magdalene has such a misshapen, twisted face as if her nose is broken, but those hands are a worry.

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2014, 11:43:39 AM »
Here's one that's just as bad. It's bad enough that St Mary Magdalene has such a misshapen, twisted face as if her nose is broken, but those hands are a worry.




Man hands!
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2014, 11:44:22 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:

Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Wow.  I hadn't seen that one.  That's pretty bad.

Continuing with my comparisons, I finally figured out who FauxJesus reminds me of.

The creepy Jesus from the movie "The Messenger":

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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2014, 11:48:56 AM »
Take a good look at the proportions of the face and head in this one:



Even taking into account the customary abstraction of icons, the proportions of this Christ's face are all over the place. The whole thing looks unbalanced, awkward, even disturbing - the antithesis of peace, order, harmony and stillness which icons strive to be.

Wow.  I hadn't seen that one.  That's pretty bad.

Another major problen in this piece is the use of black and gray for shading on the white cloak. These colors are never used for such purposes, as black symbolizes death, ignorance and evil. In iconography, if Christ is shown in white garments, such as in the Transfiguration or the Resurrection, the highlight colors to show the drape of His garments are in gold, or often in shades of pale blue. Never, ever in black.
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Offline Nephi

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2014, 02:36:04 PM »
Some could certainly use work, but others are pretty good IMO issues or not. Definitely better than most "folk" icons.

Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2014, 05:01:27 PM »
See? They're not all that bad.
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Offline Didyma

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2014, 05:10:53 PM »
What are some "rustic" icons that you do like, LBK?
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2014, 11:27:53 PM »
Some could certainly use work, but others are pretty good IMO issues or not. Definitely better than most "folk" icons.

The problem is the phenomenon of being able to take an iconographic workshop, whether for a weekend or even a week, which is simply nowhere near enough time to even begin to grasp the necessary drafting and painterly skills, let alone the spiritual and theological aspects of what icons are, and, just as importantly, what they are not, and thinking that one is now capable of painting icons. Even experienced and skilled artists have to unlearn a great deal of what they've been taught, as iconography, even in its painting techniques, is a very different animal to conventional art.

It takes months to become competent in drawing alone, before someone should begin to consider putting paint to board. It also takes much time and effort in developing the proper spiritual mindset that an iconographer should have, even if he does not intend to make it his life's work. If the foundation, technical and spiritual, is sloppy, then the whole work will suffer.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 11:29:49 PM by LBK »
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Offline Nephi

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2014, 11:32:50 PM »
Some could certainly use work, but others are pretty good IMO issues or not. Definitely better than most "folk" icons.

The problem is the phenomenon of being able to take an iconographic workshop, whether for a weekend or even a week, which is simply nowhere near enough time to even begin to grasp the necessary drafting and painterly skills, let alone the spiritual and theological aspects of what icons are, and, just as importantly, what they are not, and thinking that one is now capable of painting icons. Even experienced and skilled artists have to unlearn a great deal of what they've been taught, as iconography, even in its painting techniques, is a very different animal to conventional art.

It takes months to become competent in drawing alone, before someone should begin to consider putting paint to board. It also takes much time and effort in developing the proper spiritual mindset that an iconographer should have, even if he does not intend to make it his life's work. If the foundation, technical and spiritual, is sloppy, then the whole work will suffer.

I definitely agree that a workshop isn't enough.  But, is that all this woman had training-wise? She's apparently been doing icons for 18 years,  if I remember correctly, which would imply, for better or for worse,  she's a bit more than just someone dabbling after going to a workshop.  
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 11:33:29 PM by Nephi »

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2014, 11:38:08 PM »
Some could certainly use work, but others are pretty good IMO issues or not. Definitely better than most "folk" icons.

The problem is the phenomenon of being able to take an iconographic workshop, whether for a weekend or even a week, which is simply nowhere near enough time to even begin to grasp the necessary drafting and painterly skills, let alone the spiritual and theological aspects of what icons are, and, just as importantly, what they are not, and thinking that one is now capable of painting icons. Even experienced and skilled artists have to unlearn a great deal of what they've been taught, as iconography, even in its painting techniques, is a very different animal to conventional art.

It takes months to become competent in drawing alone, before someone should begin to consider putting paint to board. It also takes much time and effort in developing the proper spiritual mindset that an iconographer should have, even if he does not intend to make it his life's work. If the foundation, technical and spiritual, is sloppy, then the whole work will suffer.

I definitely agree that a workshop isn't enough.  But, is that all this woman had training-wise? She's apparently been doing icons for 18 years,  if I remember correctly, which would imply, for better or for worse,  she's a bit more than just someone dabbling after going to a workshop.  

Eighteen years, and her work is still so bad? I bet she's had no training of any sort at all.
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Offline Hawkeye

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2014, 11:43:53 PM »
Some of her work depicts the Theotokos in white which I can't say I've seen before. Is this color normally used, LBK?
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Offline LBK

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2014, 12:01:06 AM »
Some of her work depicts the Theotokos in white which I can't say I've seen before. Is this color normally used, LBK?

Only in western art, or where Orthodoxy has been heavily influenced by Roman Catholic ways. White might symbolize purity, but the customary red and blue colors express a fundamental truth: that this woman, fully human and mortal (blue inner tunic) was graced by divinity in that she bore the Divine (red outer garment). The same colors are reversed for Christ's garments: God clothed Himself in humanity.

Much of this woman's work is straight out of RC traditions, like the Holy Family and Divine Mercy, and are not suitable for veneration, as they express teachings and theology foreign to Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 12:07:08 AM by LBK »
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2014, 07:27:38 AM »
What are some "rustic" icons that you do like, LBK?

Here are just a few:

St John of Shanghai and San Francisco, painted by a French nun shortly after his repose in 1966. There are hundreds of different icons of this saint, many painted by skilled masters, but this one, simple and humble, sums up the saint better than any other I've seen.



Prophet Elijah, turn of the 16th C, from Pskov in northern Russia. Very simply composed and painted, with a quite limited color range, but there is nothing sloppy, awkward or grotesque about it.



Mother of God, from a deesis (supplicatory) series of panels, 16th century, from Vologda, Russia. So simple, yet a triumph of dignity, stillness, delicacy, reverence and spiritual power.

(The image hosting service will delete this image after 28 days)

http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/image.php?id=96c6c0d

Venerable Symeon the Pillar-dweller, 19th century, painted by an unknown monk somewhere in northern Russia. The range of colors is essentially red, sepia, raw umber, yellow ochre, white, and a very dark blue. The painting style is simple, even raw and rough, yet it perfectly captures the humility, sanctity and asceticism of this remarkable saint. Easily one of my favorite icons in my archive of more than 7000 images.







« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 07:32:14 AM by LBK »
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2014, 12:55:53 PM »
I don't really see here proportions and style as being any worse than Ethiopian icons.
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Re: This Iconographer Is Pretty Cool
« Reply #44 on: June 18, 2014, 08:53:20 AM »
Yes, I can see why the site is hosted by "deviant art".

The shame is that the artist is clearly calling her work "icons". She's not doing Orthodoxy any favors by doing so.  :( :P
Wise words.  I certainly agree.